Binghamton's Ross Park Zoo is celebrating love and a change in its traditional schedule during the winter.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Zoo Member and Visitor Services Manager, Rachel Peppard is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, talking about the Februrary 15 and 16 Courtship Tails and other events that have not taken a break for the cold weather.

Peppard says Courtship Tails provides a racy inside look into the love-lives of the animals and is open to adults age 21 and older.  The tour includes wine tasting and snacks in addition to some personal encounters with animals.

Peppard says for the younger crowd, Zoo School featuring Wild Kratts, in association with Public Television is taking place for children age 6-10 through February.

The Zoo on Morgan Road on the South Side of Binghamton is normally closed except for select events during the winter, but Peppard says it is open every weekend for the first time this year.  She says the maintenance crews are always busy keeping walkways clear for the staff that must care for the animals year-round, so it has been no problem keeping the facility maintained for the public in spite of it's extraordinarily hilly topography.

Peppard also discusses the impact of the wildfires in Australia on seriously endangered species like Koala Bears and efforts to save the animals during the disaster.

Information and registration for Courtship Tails, Wild Kratts and winter weekends can be found at www.rossparkzoo.org or by calling (607) 724-5461.

Southern Tier Close Up can be heard Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. following the Midday Report on News Radio 1290 WNBF.